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7 Legends About Human Placentophagy (The ingestion of a Human Placenta) 

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The placenta is that organ that develops in a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Basically it’s Job is to provide oxygen, nutrients,  and also to remove waste products from the growing baby. Now Believe it or not, after birth some mothers – not only mothers though- do ingest the placenta of their newborns. Some mix it in a fruit smoothie, some send it off to be dried and made into capsules, while some eat it raw. This is done partly due to the below 7 Legends about human placentophagy (the ingestion of a Human Placenta).

Placenta

1. It Makes The Uterus Reach its Pre-pregnancy Size

Consuming the placenta is  believed to cause the release of a chemical known as ‘oxytocin‘ in the brain which stimulates uterine contractions leading to the onset of labor, and after childbirth can also cause the uterus to contract and sooner reach its pre-pregnancy size.

2. Nutritional Benefits

Placenta smoothie

Considering the fact that the placenta is responsible for transporting nutrients to the fetus during gestation, as well as producing and regulating hormones and opioids. Some believe that the placenta retains some of these nutrients even after delivery, and that consumption of the placenta by the mother will help her recover more quickly following childbirth by replenishing nutrients and hormones lost during childbirth.

3. Medicinal Purposes

Historically,  the Araucanian Native Americans of Argentina dry and ground a child’s umbilical cord, giving the child a little of the powder when it becomes sick. Also In Jamaica, bits of placental membranes are put into an infant’s tea to prevent convulsions allegedly caused by ghosts.

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Baby with placenta intact

4. Life Preservation

In The Chaga city of Tanganyinka (Tanzania),  when a baby is born,  it’s placenta is not thrown out,  instead it is placed in a container for two months to dry. Once dry, it is ground into flour from which a porridge is made. The porridge is served to old women of the family as a way of preserving the child’s life.

5. It Brings About Fertility

Fertile woman

In some places, like the Kol tribe of central India, barren women are encouraged to consume the placenta of a neeborn.  As It is believed that the placenta is made up of substances that are capable of driving off the influences that keep a woman barren. consumption of placenta by a childless woman.

Related:   African Culture: The Wodaabe Tribe Wife Stealing Festival

6. It Is The Best Treatment For Postpartum Depression

Placenta encapsulated

Human placentophagy after childbirth has been described by some as a treatment for postpartum depression (a type of clinical depression which can affect both sexes after childbirth) and fatigue, However, scientific research provides no evidence  hat consuming the placenta prevents or treats postpartum depression.

7. Stronger Mother-Infant Bonding

Woman bonding with her kid

Although there are no scientific evidence Some mothers still believe that ingesting their child’s placenta would help create a stronger mother-infant bond.

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Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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